Stuttering Shujaa eye Main Cup quarters in Hong Kong

Kenya's Collins Injera carries the ball during the USA Sevens Rugby tournament at Sam Boyd ...
(FILE)Kenya's Collins Injera carries the ball during the USA Sevens Rugby tournament at Sam Boyd Stadium on March 5, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken/Getty Images/AFP Isaac Brekken / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Kenya Sevens Shujaa Head Coach, Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu believes his team will qualify for the Main Cup quarter finals during the seventh round of HSBC World Series in Hong Kong that starts on Friday.

Shujaa are drawn in Pool B alongside series leaders South Africa, Canada and France.

Speaking from Hong Kong, Simiyu is confident of reaching the quarters for only the third time this season since they have faced all teams in the group during the 2016/17 campaign.

“It’s an interesting pool and we have a good shot of qualifying because we have come close twice against South Africa. If you look at Canada and France, we have beaten the latter twice this season and lost once against them.

“We have also beaten Canada once and lost once so I think it’s a good pool,” the former Shujaa and Kenya 15s Simbas captain stated.

“Hopefully we can execute our strategy and come out with a win and perhaps even hit our target to get 10 points in Hong Kong,” the Shujaa boss added.

With Mwamba RFC Billy Odhiambo having linked up with Shujaa to take the place of William Ambaka who is rumoured to be pursuing a move to a New Zealand club, the Shujaa tactician believes they have prepared well for the tournament.

“In terms of preps, we are on point and we are hoping to get a bit of adaptation with some players in their positions so that at least we can cover the gaps left by the two players who withdrew from the team,” Simiyu underscored.

The Andrew Amonde-captained side will kick-off against Canada 7s on Friday at 3.18pm local time (+3GMT).

Their second pool match will be Saturday at 8.56am against South Africa before concluding their preliminary assignment at 12.34 pm against France.

Simiyu noted lactic acid accumulation in the longest leg of the tour that takes three days had occasioned the preparation of the players mentally and physically to manage the squad.

“With a two day tournament we have three games in one day whereas with a three day tournament. The first day, we have a game then we have to start again from scratch on Day 2 and again from scratch on Day 3,” he explained.

Shujaa lie 12th in the log with 40 points ahead of the Asian tour that will see them head to Singapore next weekend to defend their title.

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Story By Kenerickson Njeru
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